“IMAGINE this: a fifteen-year-old girl, scared and anxious walking into a boardroom full of people asking the most awkward questions,” medical student Esperance Luvindao recalls her interview for a high school scholarship.
“But three years later that same young woman carries skills, confidence and passion into another boardroom, this time for university,” Luvindao said at the Allan Gray Orbis Foundation’s year-end dinner on Wednesday night.
“By investing in young individuals to become high impact entrepreneurial leaders, the foundation takes diamonds in the rough and polishes them to absolute perfection,” said Luvindao.
The Namibian branch of the Allan Gray Orbis Foundation was establish in 2008 and has so far committed over N$34 million to scholarships and future start-up business funding, which aims to support Namibian youth venturing into entrepreneurial activity. The funding is made available exclusively to young Namibians who have been selected as Allan Gray Fellows.
The success of this investment is rooted in quality education of entrepreneurially minded youth. This was also core the message delivered by Peter Katjavivi, chairperson of the Allan Gray Orbis Foundation.
“The foundation strongly believes that by building a community of young, entrepreneurially minded leaders who are value-driven, a new generation of high impact entrepreneurial leaders who are at the forefront of economic transformation, will emerge. These individuals shall be the pioneers, ambassadors and change agents who would be fully supported in order to unlock their power of ideation, innovation, determination so that they develop habitual entrepreneurial behavior,” Katjavivi said.
The foundation owns 15% of Allan Gray Namibia’s (AGN) operations from which it receives a share of dividends plus a donation of 5% of AGN’s pre-tax profits.
This contribution is used to avail significant funding for scholarships for quality education and entrepreneurial leadership development. Financial support includes payment of school and hostel fees, uniform, civilian and sports clothing, bedding, travel allowance, stationary and book allowance, extra mural allowance, extra tuition allowance and pocket money. Funds are also set aside to provide start-up capital to young Namibian graduates of the Allan Gray Fellowship who wish to start their own commercial enterprises.
The foundation that currently supports 38 scholars and ten fellows, works closely together with top quality schools and universities.